Cape Town suspends metro cops involved in eviction of naked man

The City of Cape Town has moved to suspend four law enforcement officers who were shown on video evicting a naked man from his shack during a demolition of informal dwellings in Khayelitsha on Wednesday.

The video, widely circulated on social media, shows several metro police officers surrounding a shack while two officers push the unidentified man out of his home. 

The man is tackled to the ground, while another police officer is shown kneeling on his back. Onlookers attempting to assist are pepper-sprayed. 

It’s believed the man was bathing at the time of the eviction. 

Cape Town’s executive director for safety and security, Richard Bosman, said in a statement on Wednesday night that an investigation into the incident is under way, with disciplinary proceedings expected to be implemented. 


“We are in the process of suspending four staff members involved in the incident, pending the outcome of the investigation. The suspension also ensures that staff are not targeted while on duty. We are saddened by the conduct depicted on the video footage, and we do not condone any forceful and dehumanising conduct by our staff members,” Bosman said.

The City said their primary purpose was to carry out anti-land invasion operations to protect land earmarked for housing development, but added that it does not condone violence by law-enforcement staff.

“The City takes these allegations very seriously,” Bosman said. 

The land in question in the Empolweni settlement has been subject to a legal battle, with the City acquiring an eviction order to remove people, because the property has been earmarked for development. 

The City government came under fire in April after it embarked on evictions in this area, even though lockdown regulations to curb the spread of the coronavirus explicitly ban the exercising of eviction orders. 

After a ruling by the Western Cape high court, only 49 households have been given rights to temporarily remain on the land until after the lockdown. 

“After the removal of illegally built structures, new attempts are made to invade again on a daily basis … The City must also maintain this recent court order, which the community is aware of,” the Democratic Alliance-led local government’s statement said. 

Social justice group Ndifuna Ukwazi — which has been assisting people since the first evictions in April — said that it will be calling for Bosman, and mayoral committee member for safety JP Smith to be held accountable for the “abhorrent violation of the rights to dignity, privacy, and housing” of the man. 

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Lester Kiewit
Lester Kiewit
Lester Kiewit is a Reporter, Journalist, and Broadcaster.

Related stories

Advertising

Subscribers only

ANC’s rotten apples on the chopping block

Now that the NEC has finalised its step-aside guidelines for those facing corruption charges, a swathe of officials will struggle to cling to their positions

Sisulu and Dlodlo punted to be on their way out

Because President Cyril Ramaphosa won the step-aside order in the ANC’s national executive committee, a cabinet reshuffle looms, with Sisulu and Dlodlo’s names on comrades’ lips

More top stories

Analysts expecting another attack ‘in the next few months’ in...

The extremist insurgency in Mozambique has been an ongoing threat since 2017. SADC needs to act now, say analysts

SIU probes how master of the high court fleeces the...

While the SIU delves into dozens of allegations of fraud, corruption and misconduct against officials at the master of the high court, many families have been left destitute after the death of their loved ones.

Somi’s Holy Room breaks the sounds of silence

Somi’s latest album, recorded live with a big band, was released as an ode to music-starved fans and empty theatres

New cyber scam targets property sales

Suspects appear in court on charges of fraud and forgery to intercept payments for title deed transfers and associated legal fees
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…